A GUIDE TO SOAP MAKING



Making your own soap at home is indeed an exciting and fun-filled task! The many formulations that can be derived from the wide range of raw ingredients are endless. Apart from the fact that soap making gives you the opportunity to get creative and experiment with new combinations and shapes, it also offers various other benefits. 

Benefits of homemade soaps:
By making your own soap, you are aware of the constituents and get the chance to use ingredients that best work for your skin. You can make use of products that are pure and good for your skin like essential oils. Packed with natural goodness, essential oils make the perfect ingredient for soaps with their amazing benefits and refreshing fragrance.It is best to avoid store-bought soap as they are laden with synthetic dyes and chemicals. They are harsh on your skin and can hamper the natural oil balance. Homemade soaps make a healthier alternative and you get to nourish your skin with natural ingredients.

Whether you are new to the art of soap making or are a seasoned soap maker, the following guide is sure to make your experience an extremely delightful one. There are a number of ways in which the process of soap making can be taken up. You can either go for the extremely simple ‘melt and pour method’ or try the ‘cold process’ method. 
The melt and pour method typically involves melting pre-manufactured soap bases,and then ultimately pouring the liquid into new moulds to set. Before pouring into the moulds though, you can add in your favourite scents, colours and other additives to make your own signature bar of soap! 
The cold process method involves making soaps from scratch. However, it is a lengthy process and you need to leave the soap for a month to cure. If you wish to make soap from scratch but in a simpler way, the ‘hot process’ recipe is a good one to start with. 

The following guide can help you through the process of soap making from start to finish. You get to have an understanding of the ingredients and equipment as well as essential oils that you can add.
Resources required to make soap at home:
The supplies that you will need to make your soap primarily depends upon the type of soap that you wish to make. From soap with a rich lather to those that can also be used as a shampoo, there are many options to explore.

Base fats and oils:
They serve as the base for the soap that you will make. You can even use ingredients that you already have at home as a base like olive oil or other vegetable oil. If you wish to make a glycerin soap, you will require a chunk of glycerin as a base. 

Lye:
After you have figured out the oils that you will use, you will need to buy lye. This is basically sodium hydroxide or caustic soda and results in the chemical reaction that causes the fats and oils to change to soap.

Essential or Fragrance Oils:
With their wide array of benefits, essential oils can add character and a fabulous aroma to your soap. You can add any essential oil according to your preference. Lavender, rosemary and bergamot are popular essential oils that are being used. 

Ways to stay safe with Lye:
If you have decided to use lye, there are a few precautions and safety measures that you need to take to ensure that you use this chemical safely. Make sure to remember the following points:

Use safety goggles
Wear gloves
Use a stove with a proper extraction fan
Make sure there is no direct contact with the skin
Use stainless steel vessel. Avoid aluminium or vessels with a non-stick surface.
Tools required:
Safety gear
Scales
Two Steel pots
Two thermometers
Stick blenders
Plastic Moulds

Method:
The ratio of the oils and fats to lye is determined by the ingredients that you choose to use. For a flawless outcome, it is best to look for a recipe and stick to it. The saponification index for every combination of lye and oils is different. You can make use of the ‘lye calculators’ online for accurate results.
Well, excited about making your own soap at home? Here is an easy recipe that you can try.

You will need the following ingredients, most of which are easily available. 
Almond oil – 110.5g – 8%
Olive oil – 388g – 28%
Lard/butter – 332g – 24%
Cocoa butter – 69g – 5%
Castor oil – 68g – 5%
Coconut oil – 414g – 30%
Lye – 193g – 6%
Water – 482g
Fragrance/essential oil- 56g

Process:
Place the two pots on the stove.
Use one for the lye & water and the other to melt the oils and fats
Measure the oils and fats and after they melt add the liquid oil to the pot
Gradually pour the lye solution into the melted oils and fats 
Use the stick blender to give it a few bursts
Cook the mixture and stir every few minutes
In about 30 minutes you will notice that it has reached a gel stage. You will notice the oils separating towards the edges of the pot. Keep mixing and cooking.
After it feels uniformly light, you can take it off the heat. 
You can now add the essential oils and colourants. 
If you are using a non-liquid colourant, mix a little olive oil first to make it easier. 
With a spatula, add the mixture to your mould and press to ensure that there are no air pockets. 
Leave it for 1-2 days until it turns hard.
You can now cut the soap and it is ready for use. 

Isn’t the process a simple one? Why not go ahead and give it a try then!
However, make sure to check the exact recipe percentages and saponification index. Avoid guessing the equation to make the process a smooth one. With every batch, you will notice that the process of soap-making becomes simpler for you. 

Are you looking for natural ingredients to make soaps at home? 
N-Essentials brings to you a wide range of pure, natural and/or organic cosmetics and essential oils. In case you are looking for more information about pure ingredients and essential oils for your soaps, feel free to call us today. 
Alternatively, you can also email us at info@n-essentials.com.au.
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